Australian PM blames Hizbullah for latest crisis

Australian Prime Minister John Howard blamed the Lebanon-based militant group Hizbullah on Friday for the latest Middle Eastern crisis but said Israel was not above criticism. Israel has intensified its attacks on Lebanon, striking bridges, airports and the main highway leading to Syria to put pressure on the government and force Hizbullah guerrillas to free two Israeli soldiers captured on Wednesday. "This latest incident started because of the Hizbullah incursion into Israel against all the resolutions of the United Nations and against all of the understandings now of international law," Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. "The assumption that it was started by Israel in this particular instance is wrong," he added.